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Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance Paperback – January 22, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,345 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance
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  • Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science
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  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Better is a masterpiece, a series of stories set inside the four walls of a hospital that end up telling us something unforgettable about the world outside.” ―Malcolm Gladwell, author of Talking to Strangers

“Atul Gawande's insightful book illuminates the challenging choices members of the profession face every day.” ―Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times

“Remarkably honest and human accounts . . . describing professional moments of fear, guilt, embarrassment, and humor . . . Rich in fascinating detail.” ―The Economist

“It's hard to think of a writer working today who makes such good use of man's quest to avoid pain and death. Atul Gawande is not only adding to the small shelf of books by doctors that every layman should read. He's using medicine to help anyone who hopes to do anything better.” ―Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side

“Gawande . . . manages to capture medicine in all of its complex and chaotic glory, and to put it, still squirming with life, down on the page. . . . With this book Gawande inspires all of us, doctor or not, to be better.” ―Pauline W. Chen, The New York Times Book Review

“Gawande is unassuming in every way, and yet his prose is infused with steadfast determination and hope. If society is the patient here, I can't think of a better guy to have our back.” ―Gail Caldwell, The Boston Globe

“This is a book about failure: how it happens, how we learn from it, how we can do better. Although its focus is medicine, its message is for everybody. . . . It has already been described as a modern masterpiece―and so it is.” ―Jeremy Lawrence, The Independent (UK)

Better is a mesmerizing book with fascinations on every page, told with mastery, insight, compassion, and humility by a surgeon who doesn't flinch from taboo subjects or self-examination. . . . On every page, one meets a candid and thoughtful man, who pays close attention, and who somehow manages to find the right balance between intimacy and respectfulness, in a world that can be inhospitable to both.” ―Diane Ackerman, author of An Alchemy of Mind

“I found I had been gripping the book so hard that my fingers hurt. . . . It calls to mind one of the great classics of medical literature, Mikhail Bulgakov's A Country Doctor's Notebook. Few modern authors could stand that comparison, but Gawande can.” ―John Carey, The Sunday Times (UK)

About the Author

Atul Gawande is the author of four bestselling books: Complications, a finalist for the National Book Award; Better; The Checklist Manifesto, and Being Mortal. He is also a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He has won the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science, a MacArthur Fellowship, and two National Magazine Awards. In his work in public health, he is Founder and Chair of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and Lifebox, a nonprofit organization making surgery safer globally. He is also chair of Haven, where he was CEO from 2018-2020. He and his wife have three children and live in Newton, Massachusetts.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Picador; 1st edition (January 22, 2008)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0312427654
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0312427658
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 1100L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.57 x 0.82 x 8.29 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 1,345 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
1,345 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 17, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on July 24, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on December 2, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on December 2, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on October 3, 2012
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Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2009
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Top reviews from other countries

Leitir
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone who cares about supporting enhanced professionalism for the greater good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 27, 2015
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William Jordan
3.0 out of 5 stars well-written reflections on medicine and doctors, often of much interest
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 15, 2016
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Ann Gleeson
5.0 out of 5 stars Atul Gawande is superlative writing on medical practice and ethics ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 19, 2017
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Eddy Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book by Atul Gawande
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 27, 2020
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Joanne Whitlock
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever insight into a topic I thought I already knew!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 26, 2014
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